Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Open source video sharing site
We care about learning so much that we canceled classes on Wednesdays. Are we crazy? Well maybe, but what if I told you that some of our best learning happens on Wednesdays? At Albany Senior High School, Wednesday is Impact Project day. Students work with a supervising teacher to take an area of passion for them and turn it into learning. It's project-based learning and the 'impact' side of it comes from the requirement that it must make an impact on the community; it must give something back. Students work on everything from forming bands and arranging gigs through to supporting and learning more about local charities. We've also had some students comlete some pretty exciting open source projects. 'Ourtube' is one of the best. The students came to me and asked what the school needed more than anything else. I said "We've got a pretty good setup already, but one thing we're missing is a really nice youtube-style platform for teacher to use to show documentaries and animations to classes." 8 Wednesdays later, the school had a web-based video sharing site offering: uploading and transcoding, tagging, subscriptions, favourites, LDAP integration, comments and messages. All open source and all free of charge. It's built on Plumi, Plone and Flowplayer. In fact, it's so good, we're considering putting it in a data centre so other schools can start to use it.Copyright issues are largely taken care of by an agreement we have with a content provider and by our screenrights licence, but as time goes on, I'd love to get access to more Creative Commons content so that licencing becomes easier.